Solar energy in Seattle? I know what you’re thinking: “There are clouds here all the time!” But you’re mistaken. Seattle does have heavy clouds blocking the sun for a large part of the year, but the long summer days actually provide enough sun to make up for all the rainy winters!
You can set up your solar panels in Seattle. All it takes is a little research to find the right solar energy system and the right Seattle solar companies for you.
Cost of Solar panels in Seattle
The cost of your installation depends on how complex its design is, the configuration of the system, the equipment you choose, and how experienced your contractor is.
On average, the cost of solar panels in Seattle is around 2.8 dollars per watt. Without considering local incentives, a 5kW system might cost you anywhere between 11,800 to 16,000 dollars. For a small-sized home, you might be saving up to 150 dollars per year since in Seattle, the electricity costs about 0.06 dollars per kWh.
Grid-connected systems require lesser installation cost and maintenance than an off-grid system. When your house generates more power than you consume, you send some to the grid if your system is connected to it. City Light pays you for it, provided you install a net meter. You can see the example of a Seattle City Light Solar bill here.
When it comes to maintenance, it may cost around 400 dollars to clean your solar panels occasionally. You may also clean it yourself, but it’s safer and easier to get it done by a professional.
Average solar panel cost in Seattle
Avg system cost
Avg system cost
Incentives, tax credits, and rebates for Seattle solar panels
The government has put some policies in place to encourage its citizens to set up solar energy systems. Owning a solar power system entitles you to a solar tax credit. The Investment Tax Credit (which is the federal solar tax credit) allows the deduction of a fixed percentage of installation cost. This deduction has no maximum limit.
In the state of Washington, the Federal Energy Policy Act allows us to avail 30% Tax credit for the cost of solar energy systems set up before 2032 and 4% lesser every year after that. To avail this incentive, you need not be residing in the house where you are setting up the system. You can click here to review the required qualifications of the solar energy system to avail this tax credit.
The purchase of solar energy systems is also exempted from Sales Tax in the state of Washington! In addition, Washington State also gives an incentive of 15 to 54 cents for every kWh of energy that your system produces.
You will receive Renewable Energy Credits (REC) that fluctuate in price from 2 to 20 cents per kWh of energy produced by your system. You can sell these to another party.
When compared to a home completely similar to yours except for the solar energy system, your home would have a higher value. This is because the house would save a potential buyer a lot of money in terms of electricity consumption.
The value of your home increases twenty times the amount of money your solar energy system saves you annually. The National Bureau of Economic Research released a study that concluded that buyers paid a premium of 4% to houses with solar energy systems.
Also, a significant driver for the solar industry is the accelerated system depreciation over 5 years for businesses.
What should you know about solar installation in Seattle?
If you’re to maximize your solar panels’ efficiency, you must know that the latitude of a place plays a major role in the seasonal changes of solar insolation. This means that if you have a fixed tilt solar panel, it will work most effectively when it is set up at the same angle as Seattle’s latitude of 47.45.
At this latitude, Seattle gets an average of 3.7 hours of sunlight per day. A dual-axis system that shifts according to the sun’s position in each season would further improve efficiency, which is 4.9 hours per day. [Find The Best Angle For Your Solar Panels]
When you are looking to install a solar energy system, you must first figure out how much space you have for it. You will need about 80 square feet of roof space for a 1kW system. It is wiser to go for a larger system since you’ll be spending significantly less per kW to install it.
How to install solar panels in Seattle?
The first thing you need to do is check the energy requirement of your house. Consider all the appliances you use and the average power you’d require in a day. Next, calculate the energy you’ll need and arrive at an approximate range of solar energy wattage you will be buying.
Check if your house is electrically equipped to handle a solar energy system. If you plan to connect your system to the grid, you have to ensure that your equipment meets the code requirements. City Light representatives will check if your wiring is placed safely, such that there is no danger due to leakage of water, et cetera. In case you need any help with upgrading your equipment you can avail of their services for the same here.
Consult multiple solar companies and get their bids before you choose one.
Apply here if you want to connect your system to the grid through Seattle City Light.
If you’re connecting to the City Light power grid, you need to have an Interconnection agreement.
You will be needed to submit some documents here, which your solar contractor will help you with. If you are making the installation in a network area, which you can check here, or if your installation is larger than 10kW, the Network Engineering Department will review your application.
You will also need to apply here if you want a net aggregation for multiple meters in your house or if you have multiple properties. Don’t forget to obtain a permit for your solar energy system locally (Department of Construction and Inspections in Seattle). All that is left now is to claim your tax credit on your federal tax return!
Let’s look at some Solar companies in Seattle that have an excellent reputation in Solar panel installations and maintenance.
7 Best Solar Companies in Seattle 2021
The company has been around for 21 years and has four NABCEP certifications. They offer grid-tied residential and small commercial solar systems. They also provide Solar Hot water and pool heating sales and installations. Wind turbines, Hybrid solar systems for houses, and Energy monitoring systems are also on their list.
Location: 987 Wanamaker Road, Coupeville WA, 98239
They are a fourteen-year-old company and NABCEP qualified installers. They offer services for grid-tied residential and small commercial solar systems. They also offer Energy monitoring solutions and Hybrid solar systems for houses. Their solar power systems are highly efficient and have proven to give customers returns in less than three years.
Location: 969 South Nebraska Street Suite A, Seattle WA, 98108
They install lighting, generator, electrical panel, solar panel, heaters, inverters, smoke detectors, et cetera. They even repair most of your electrical systems at home, install meters and wiring. They have fixed pricing, provide free consultations, having been in the business for over a decade. They have a long-lasting relationship with customers who loyally return for their services.
Location: 3211 Martin Luther King Jr Way S Suite B, Seattle WA, 98144
4. A&R Solar
They are a certified B-Corporation, meaning they meet stringent standards for social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. They have over ten NABCEP certifications. They install Solar anywhere, from houseboats to commercial buildings.
Location: 3211 Martin Luther King Jr Way S Suite B, Seattle WA, 98144
The company is about 16 years old and has installed over 2000 solar energy systems. A Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer, and has the State’s longest-tenured team. They provide a ten-year guarantee on the solar system’s production, workmanship, and equipment.
Location: 4546 Leary Way NW, Seattle WA, 98107
Just as the name suggests, they are experts in anything related to your roof. They install roofs, solar panels, inverters, et cetera. They even make Roof inspections, repair leaks, clean solar panels, and skylights. They are very professional, hygienic, and proficient in setting up leak-proof roofs. So if you need a re-roofing before installing your solar panels, this is the company to consider.
Location: 5014 208th St SW, Lynnwood WA, 98036
They perform solar installations of all sizes in Washington. Blossom supports in-person and virtual consultations, enforces social distancing, takes all covid-19 precautions, and provides you with free estimates. They have fantastic customer support and are very affordable.
Location: 1706 Lombard Ave, Everett WA, 98201
Now that you know what to look for in Seattle Solar companies and how to go about it, go ahead and get your solar panels installed! It may look like a big investment upfront, but the returns are definitely worth it. Washington State provides a lot of incentives to give you a good experience and the solar energy system increases the value of your home to potential buyers as well.
Not only is it environment-friendly and healthy, but it also saves you a lot of money in the long run. Another advantage of using solar energy is that, once installed, your production cost remains stable, unlike some other fluctuating energy sources.